Conservative estimates suggest that there were 167,371,945 mobile phone users in Nigeria in 2014. The average Nigerian mobile phone user owns 2-3 devices: one “odeshi” all-purpose torchlight phone, one smart camera phone for selfies, snapchat and “setting p” on Instagram, and a status tablet for good measure. Competitive pricing and surplus availability makes multiple phone ownership possible, and proves that demand for portable devices and mobile phones is at an all time high. Whenever these portable devices develop a broken screen, a bad charging port or other faults, users have to search for reliable and honest phone technicians to rectify faults. Social media is awash with requests such as:
Starting a mobile phone repair business can be a lucrative venture, especially as the capital required is relatively low, and information is readily available.
How much do I need to start to mobile repair business?
You can start a mobile phone repair business for anything between ₦20,000 and ₦150,000, depending on how robust you can afford to be. You will need to purchase tools, training, a shop, business registration, internet for marketing and a laptop for phone software repairs.
Where do I learn to repair mobile phones?
There are several ways to learn to repair mobile phones. You can work as an intern or an apprentice at a mobile repair store such as Computer Village, Slot, Carlcare, etc., You can attend short skill acquisition courses and seminars. Best of all, you can learn for FREE, as long as you have a reliable internet connection. There are hours and hours of repair videos on Youtube, and you can also download repair manuals on ifixit. All you need to do is to buy faulty phones dead or alive, practice your newly acquired skills on bringing them to life and sell them off again once fixed.
- Screw driver
- Soldering iron
- Adhesive tape
- Magnifying lamp
- Battery tester
- LCD tester
- Cleaning brush
You will also need a source for good quality mobile phone components, to maintain your integrity and also to avoid being blacklisted by customers. Carry out a market survey to find out where you can get quality components. You can buy in varying quantities or establish a Buy Now – Pay Later relationship with the seller.
How do I reach and keep customers?
You will need to evaluate who your target customers are, and how to reach them. Are they family, friends, neighbors or colleagues? Can you reach them via SMS broadcast, social media or by word of mouth, including a small intro at your place of worship? Also don’t make the mistake of forgetting your competition. What new devices are they repairing, what makes them tick and more importantly, what are they offering? You can up your game by including value added services such as home delivery, repair insurance along with competitive prices. Yes, go big or go home!
You should understand the consumer mobile phone preferred brand, be familiar with the demographics of brand users, components and faults. Windows and IOS phone users tend to come in for broken screens, Blackberry for software upgrades, Androids’ for faulty charging ports, touch capacity, and microphone problems.
Do you get a shop or do you meet your customers where they are? Depending on your budget, location and target customers, you can either work from a fixed location, or be mobile. If you are based in large cities such as Lagos, Abuja, Ibadan and Port Harcourt, you could get a small shop at a busy phone mall such as Computer Village or D-line. For smaller cities such as Warri or Benin, you might be better off being mobile until you have built your brand and a repertoire of repeat customers and referrals.
Workstation: You will need to have a well prepared desk to work prom, preferably with drawers if you work from a shop, with a filing system in place for keeping customers property.
Business registration and local tax (optional): if you are renting a shop, it is always advisable to have your legal papers and tax receipts handy, especially when government officials come around for inspection. You can register your business at the Corporate Affairs Commission office in your state for the sum of N10,000, also register for your VAT/Tax Identification Number at your local tax office for free.
How about profits?
As a guideline, the average cost of fixing a broken android 5 inch screen, inclusive of a new screen is ₦5000. If you are able to replace 10 screens in a week, allocating about 30 minutes for each screen, you will have made ₦50,000 for 5 hours work. Repairs for charging port, microphone and ear pieces cost about ₦2000 each, I remember paying as high as ₦3000 for an Android software reset once.
What qualities do I need?
The qualities below are quite helpful in helping you venture into this monotonous work environment;
- Time management: Always ensure you repair phones on time and correctly, sloppy work makes customers weary, especially those who can’t be without their phones.
- Patience: Never lose your cool, particularly with angry, aggrieved and haggling customers.
- Computer and software programs knowledge
- Specialized knowledge and interest in devices
- Qualitative management
Other than that, you’re good to go!
I do hope you find this useful, please feel free to drop your questions or comment in the section below.